In addition to the USA, this whole business applies to many, many other countries.
If you're a harsh critic of David Stockman (Reagan's Budget Director), as I have been for years, please try to suspend any prejudices about him and watch the fairly recent Bill Moyers interview of Stockman found at the link below.
That interview is the best explanation I've seen of why/how:
1. Crony Capitalism, which has devastated our economy, differs from Free Market Capitalism.
2. The labels of "Republican" and "Democrat" really don't matter anymore.
3. Oligarchs in BIG Business (mega, transnational corporations) have taken over the Fed Gov't.
4. Financialization has contributed greatly to the ruination of our economy.
5. In the last 20 years or so, Repubs and Dems have had essentially the same economic policies.
6. Mega corporations such as GE have decimated the USA manufacturing base.
7. The "Free Markets" of the last 20 or so years are not Free Markets at all.
8. Corporate welfare (only for mega corps.) is expected as an entitlement by the Big Boys.
9. Bill Clinton, Dubya Bush, and Obama all have rigged the economic Game to favor super-rich Oligarchs.
10. The bailouts of "Too Big to Fail" constituted the greatest heist in our history by financial institutions that presently are even larger than they were before the bailouts.
In addition, Stockman points out something I've indicated on a previous post: 30-40 years ago, the Business Culture in America was significantly different than now; CEOs were concerned about the health of not only the company, but also the health of their communities and the American economy. Today it's mostly about only short-term profits and golden parachutes.
This is not the same David Stockman of years ago. This guy has nailed what's wrong with today's American economy. He agrees with many others (and I agree with them as well) that despite so-called "reforms" by Congress, almost nothing has changed since "Too Big to Fail". Another economic crisis currently is in the making...and there's a chance that it will be even larger than 2008. He also agrees that this whole scenario is not due to one political party or another; instead, the fault lies at the feet of Crony Capitalists.
The interview is about 25 minutes long, and it's a must-see for anyone hoping to understand why our country is going down the drain. [This is not pessimism, it's plain reality.] For things to change, we have to stop drinking the Edward Bernays style Propaganda Kool Aid. We're being played for chumps by both Repubs and Dems at the highest levels. It really is time to wake up.